"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path". Ps 119:105
EFFECTIVE BIBLE STUDY
Versions of the Bible
The great number of versions available in the English language is both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing because the diverse range of English translations of God's Word provides us with a wealth of alternative renderings that can help us in our reading and study of the Bible. It is somewhat of a curse because the veritable babel of translations can be confusing and make it harder for us to memorize Scripture. In this section we will consider briefly the history of the English Bible and outline the characteristics of the four main types of Bible translation.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH BIBLE
From the early Middle Ages until the Reformation of the sixteenth century, the Latin Vulgate was the official Bible of the Church. This was unfortunate, since only a few educated people could read Latin. Thus the Bible was a closed book to the majority of people.
The later Medieval period, however, saw the production of several partial translations into Old English (Anglo-Saxon). The first full translation of the Bible in our language was the Middle English translation of John Wycliffe in 1382.
Still, it was not until the time of William Tyndale in the Reformation that the Bible was translated into English from the original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. From Tyndale's translation work at the beginning of the sixteenth century to the translation of the King James Version early in the seventeenth century, several English versions were produced:
The King James Version reigned dominant until well into the twentieth century, and still remains popular. Whereas almost all English translations from Tyndale to the American Standard Version tended to be literal, the twentieth century saw the rise of other less literal forms of translation.
The Four Main Types of Bible Translation
1. WORD-FOR-WORD (LITERAL)
3. WORD-FOR-WORD AND MEANING-FOR-MEANING BLENDS
GENERAL GUIDELINES AND SUGGESTIONS